Wise investments made today that include successful diversification of Tribal Nation economic development opportunities will be key to a sustained and generational benefit for your members. When considering where and how to diversify, many factors come into play such as: available resources of your Nation to fund, manage, and responsibly grow your new investment. It will be very important to establish reasonable return expectations as your investment progresses over time. When considering potential business markets to develop, you should seek areas where you may have a unique and distinct advantage as a Tribal Nation.
Advantages may include your sovereign status, allowing for everything from simply growing a business without the burden of Federal taxes (you keep more of your profits to invest in growth than non-sovereign owned competitor companies) to unlimited participation in the Federal 8(a) program. The 8(a) program enables your business to receive sole source contracts from the Federal Government in the tens of millions of dollars as well as build a sustainable brand within the Federal space. A sustainable brand has proven to bring in $100’s of millions of dollars per year to those Nations with the vision and proper plan to responsibly invest in this marketplace.
One such market to immediately utilize your Tribal Nation advantages is the Federal 8(a) construction market. The Federal Construction market represents hundreds of billions of dollars and most Tribal Nations have either already established construction entities or have prominent individuals familiar with the construction industry. Though there are some barriers to entry in this market, all Federal facilities need construction services. The key to a successful entry and sustained presence in the market will be to seek out relationships with service providers that can demonstrate successful collaboration specifically with tribal Nations in this market.
You will have many choices when reviewing potential service providers so make sure that you choose an industry leader and/or any potential business arrangement that can demonstrate experience with Tribal entities. Expertise regarding Federal regulations specific to the Tribal 8(a) program, access to business development, operations, and bonding resources specific to the Federal Construction market will be key to a fast start. You only get one chance to establish a successful brand so choose wisely. Once you establish a trusted presence, the opportunity to expand your brand into additional types of Federal work at these Federal Government facilities will undoubtedly happen, ensuring generations of opportunities for all tribal nation members.